I have some good news to share! After a prolonged tussle, Reckitt Benckiser — the company that manufactures d-CON rodent control products — agreed to pull these rodenticides off the market.
The company and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) came to an agreement: d-CON products will stop being produced by the end of 2014 and distribution of any remaining product will stop by March 2015. This is a victory for PAN and our allies campaigning to stop the use of these products, which have been responsible for poisoning up to 10,000 children a year in the U.S.
As I blogged earlier, EPA and the California Department of Pesticide Control had previously banned these specific rodent control products — called second generation anticoagulant rodenticides — on the grounds that they were hazardous to children, wildlife and pets. Manufacturers of d-CON then challenged these actions by filing legal petitions against the agencies, thus keeping their products on the market while the legal process took its time. But no more.
Safer environment for kids & animals
PAN and Californians for Pesticide Reform (CPR) have been particularly concerned about the risk d-CON poses to children, given it's toxic formula and candy-like appearance in floor rodent traps. As Sarah Aird of CPR said:
"Reports of pesticide incidents involving children and d-CON products were too frequent for them to be continued to be sold in their present form. We are glad that d-CON's days are numbered, though it would have been best if a ban had gone into effect immediately. Proven common sense steps to protect homes from rodents are what work best."
More information on why these rodenticides are so dangerous, and safer alternatives for rodent control, is available on SafeRodentConrol.org.
Other partners working in coalition on this issue — including Earthjustice, Center for Biological Diversity and the American Bird Conservancy, to name a few — shared concerns about the harms to wildlife such as raptors and small mammals. If these animals eat a rodent that's been poisened by d-CON rodent control products, they are faced with uncontrollable internal bleeding. Not good.
Celebrating the victory of these harmful products coming off the shelf, Jonathan Evans from the Center for Biological Diversity said:
"This is a significant victory for environmental protection and corporate responsibility. While the fight isn't over until all of these hazardous products are off the market, this decision keeps the worst of the worst products from residential consumers."
Here’s hoping we have more victories to celebrate, and continue winning better protections for children and the environment.